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Jets promise A-League fire in Coffs

NZN 26/01/2017 Matt Encarnacion

Newcastle captain Nigel Boogaard has promised A-League entertainment at its finest when Coffs Harbour hosts its first professional game on Friday.

The eighth-placed Jets host star-studded Melbourne City at C.ex Coffs International Stadium needing a win to stay in touch with the top six.

They are one point behind sixth-placed Wellington after a 2-0 flop against Western Sydney last week ended a run of just one loss in six weeks.

Boogaard and his teammates took to the NSW north coast field for the first time on Thursday, and later predicted a free-flowing show for the locals.

"Obviously Melbourne City are a great side and they're in some form at the moment, so for us it's key for us to get three points," Boogaard said.

"After training on the surface today, it's immaculate. I think it'll definitely play in the hands of both teams and it should be an entertaining match."

Coach Mark Jones was also complementary of the venue, which has so far attracted around 4500 in tickets for the 20,000-capacity venue.

The record crowd was 10,838 for an NRL pre-season game in 2013.

"It's nice, lovely facilities. It's not the first time I've been here. I've been here with the nationals juniors a number of years ago and it's a lovely facility," he said.

"It's a lovely place and town. Hopefully it brings us luck."

The Jets head into the fixture as underdogs, however have been boosted by the return of key attacking pair Andrew Hoole and Morten Nordstrand.

However Jones confirmed midfield cog Wayne Brown is still bothered by a hip issue and will miss his third straight match.

"Early on in the week we knew we'd play without Brown, but we've got two of the three who were out last week, so I'm happy with that," he said.

Third-placed City, who are 14 points adrift of ladders leaders Sydney, are likely to take an unchanged line-up from the one that toppled Central Coast last week.

STATS THAT MATTER

* Newcastle Jets are undefeated in their last three home games on a Friday night, keeping two clean sheets in the process.

* Melbourne City haven't won a game outside of Melbourne since the opening round of the season, conceding at least one goal in every such game since.

* Newcastle Jets have recorded more goals from outside the box than any other team this season (7).

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